25 Ways to Be a Better, Happier Person
We're already well into the New Year, and maybe your diets have already slipped. Your dinner plates are going from green to progressively more light brown. Your crispers are emptying as the pantries are filling. You don't need to slip back into the same old routine as the last year, though. There are endless ways to bring you fulfillment that don't cost money or make you feel defeated if you're not perfect. Here are 25 ways to be a better person. Many of these you may already do, and others you might not have considered as ways that could greatly shape you and your daily experience with others. (See also: Get Back on Track With Mid-Year Resolutions)
1. Be a Role Model
How do you want to be viewed? What would you want others to model from you? Be the person that inspires others, even if it's just having good table manners or opening the door for people.
2. Be a Better Child to Your Parents
As if the guilt could ever wear off! How would you want your children to appreciate you? Remember all those things you said you'd do differently as you were growing up? Now's the time to start realizing them.
3. Be Accepting
This doesn't mean you have to agree or understand. But if you're accepting, people will be more open and honest with you.
4. Be Adaptable
Life throws curveballs, and your busiest days rarely turn out exactly how you would like. If you let go of your expectations, being adaptable is incredibly freeing and gives you great perspective.
5. Assume Good Intentions
This is key. If you can assume the best intention in people's words and actions, you will get hurt less, be let down less, and become less defensive.
Obvious, of course, but it doesn't have to be some huge commitment. Volunteer to drive your kids home from the bus stop on a rainy day (or other neighborhood kids). You've taken something off of someone's shoulders, and hey, they just might be there for you when you need one less thing. (See also: Unexpected Benefits of Volunteering)
7. Be Attentive
It feels so nice to be on the receiving end of someone's attention. When it's your turn to receive, you'll be glad. Karma…what goes around really does come around.
8. Be Coachable
Every single adult you come across knows something you do not, guaranteed. Be coachable and learn, and in return you are paying respect to someone else and making them feel valued. Both sides win.
9. Be Cooperative
Learn to get along with others, or no one will want to work with you. You should be open to new ideas and should not snarl at the word compromise.
10. Be Curious
Not only could you discover something you love, but looking at the world with such wonder again…oh, what a feeling.
11. Be on Time
Show respect for someone else's time. It will make them think highly of you, and by organizing your day you'll be less stressed yourself. Start by setting your clocks and watches 10 minutes fast. (See also: How to Always Be on Time)
12. Be Empathetic
Empathy can validate someone else's experience and establish a connection that sympathy may not. Learn to empathize, even if you have completely different opinions. The paradigm shift will do you good.
13. Be Enthusiastic
Enthusiasm can raise your mood and anyone around you within a 10-foot radius. Wouldn't you rather accomplish goals with enthusiastic people? You don't have to be keen as mustard, but don't be a too-cool-for-school curmudgeon either.
14. Put Your Past Behind You
Stop reading the chapters of your past. Whatever you did — or whatever was done to you — is done. It's not you today, and it's not who you want to be tomorrow. (See also: 8 Steps to Forgiveness)
15. Be Present
Don't only play for the future with grand ideas of "One day I will…" This is it; the moment is now, and there's no better time to take it.
16. Compliment Others (and Yourself)
It looks good on you. If others feel good around you, you reap rewards, too. Even the simplest things, like a nice comment on a shirt or blouse, can help. It starts with you. Be good to yourself so you can give to others. After all, you deserve it as much as anyone else. (See also: How to Give Better Compliments)
17. Be Gentle
To sugarcoat doesn't mean lie; it means being honest without being harsh or causing defensiveness, which will only shut people down. Being gentle assures that people are more able to receive your advice.
18. Look Up
You are missing out on connections and the way it feels to hold your head up high. Looking up also raises your mood. Looking down makes you feel down. Try it; it really works.
19. Be Quiet
Listen. See what happens. Hear what you might otherwise miss.
20. Sing Out Loud
Because it feels good, and it's a release, and whether you're a good singer or not, someone will be amused in some way, even if it's just you.
21. Be Purposeful
Pursue a cause that's higher than yourself. Broadening your scope will make you so much more grateful about your life as it is.
22. Be Resilient
It is not normal to be good at something as soon as you start. So don't give up, be resilient, and be impressed with how far you can come in a short amount of time.
23. Take Responsibility
What a different place the world would be if we each took more responsibility.
24. Don't Victimize
Observe yourself and see what you can learn and how you can be better. The buck stops with you.
25. Be Self-Reflective
Be gentle with yourself. Observe your behavior and thoughts objectively. In this way, so much is possible to change our experience.
What are you doing to become a better person? Tell us about it in comments!